Here’s a tip: if you’re walking the floor of a spirits-related trade show with Dispact Ventures founder and CEO Andrew Merinoff at your side, be prepared to stop often. He draws a crowd.
The 33-year-old investor, who is also the co-founder and CEO of passion fruit liqueur brand Chinola, is a well-known and well-regarded figure in the beverage alcohol industry and has a network that includes early-stage entrepreneurs, veteran operators, celebrity founders and industry captains. Dispact Ventures, which Merinoff launched in 2015, holds stakes in several spirit brands, including Coconut Cartel, The Long Drink and Empirical, along with others in adjacent industries.
Merinoff thrives on personal engagement and was in his element at industry convention Bar Convent Brooklyn, held on June 13 and 14. Although swarmed at every turn, Merinoff took time to speak with everyone he met. For him, every conversation is an opportunity to learn and expand his understanding of what’s next in beverages and beyond.
In this episode, Merinoff spoke about his family’s lineage in the spirits industry, how he attempts to identify trends before they become relevant, the key factors in his investment strategy, why he covets brand brands with a great story and how he’s navigated his first few months at the helm of Chinola.
In this Episode
|0:43: Interview: Andrew Merinoff, Founder & CEO, Dispatch Ventures – Taste Radio editor Ray Latif met with Merinoff at the 2023 Bar Convent Brooklyn show where the investor and entrepreneur explained why he’d rather “choke on greatness than nibble on mediocrity,” the influence of his family’s history in beverage alcohol on his career and how he views Dispact Ventures as differentiated from ones with a similar focus. He also explained how individual factors such as category, technology and design play into his investment strategy, deal flow with emerging companies and a greater sense of empathy for leaders of the firm portfolio companies since taking on his current role with Chinola.